WCCC’s Picozzi Is Out

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picozziThe rumors began 24 hours ago and  WCCC Mike Picozzi denied, denied, denied it because well, he says he didn’t know.  But by the end of the business day Monday, it was. Picozzi is gone from WCCC “The Rock” 106.9.

The veteran station personality,  who went from deejay to program director at the station owned by Marlin Broadcasting,  was shown the door, adding yet another facet of the controversy swirling around the Hartford-based station.

“We finally agreed to disagree,” is all Picozzi had to say via an email Tuesday morning about his departure. Station general manager Boyd Arnold could not be reached for comment. Music director Mike Karolyi will take Picozzi’s place.

Picozzi’s  dismissal comes in the wake of a significant change in the music format at the station that was known for its edgy hard rock playlist. A few weeks ago, station head honchos decided to change things up and focus on “soft rock” igniting a firestorm prompting a public protest  and a “Save the Rock” Facebook page aimed at forcing station owner Woody Tanger to reconsider the change.

Tanger weighed in Tuesday declining to comment on Picozzi’s departure but complimenting him for his “hard work” adding that on a personal note, everyone loved him.

“I have nothing but good things to say about him,” said Tanger.

Tanger also took exception to claims of a station format change, noting that WCCC is still playing rock music but has expanded the boundaries of the kind of rock it plays.

“We have put the welcome mat out to men and women 35 and older,” he said about the new mix of music. “We have eliminated the music that was most offensive to the most people.”

Fast forward, somehow music promoter Jim Koplik got involved and met with Tanger to find some sort of music compromise.

 

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58 thoughts on “WCCC’s Picozzi Is Out

  1. JVal

    Picozzi, thanks for all you’ve done to keep the station relevant, LOCAL and fighting the good fight. Best wishes.

    1. Phil

      the fact that you believe that…is crazy! Picozzi is lucky he had a job as long as he did. He’ll end up at some tiny market in New Hampshire or Vermont playing records from crappy bands.

  2. Farley Hacklesbaugh

    WCCC – Kinda live, kinda late, and really broken these days…

    Hope they figure out what they wanna be when they grow up soon.

  3. o

    Would be nice to have a station that doesnt play stupid rap music all the time. Sure its whats “in” these days, but it sucks.

  4. Brad Davis

    WCCC is the worse station in Hartford, 10 fold. Come on folks, it’s 2013. Rock 102 and PLR are WAY better and hipper.

    1. Joe

      It’s really a shame what they did to the Rock CCC. But to offer up 99.1 PLR as an alternative, really? Haha that’s the funniest thing I’ve ever heard!

      I don’t know anything about Rock 102 but I’ll take The Peak 107.1 and i95 WRKI any day… oh and Radio 104 too!

  5. Fred

    The Hartford radio market is tanking. Time to Re-boot a few stations. Radio 104 and The River has died and so has WCCC.

  6. Rockman

    Greatest day in the history of Connecticut radio. You can’t be edgy with a 60-something-year-old running your rock station.

    1. chris

      They took edgy and threw it in the toilet about a month ago with the format change. Now its just a tape delay of 99.1 with a little extra U2 and GreenDay thrown in.

  7. Rockman

    Greatest day in the history of Connecticut radio. You can’t be edgy with a 60-something-year-old running your rock station.

    Local, or not, the radio station is about making money, end of story. You want edgy? Listen to college radio.

    1. chris

      Being a business man i certainly understand that if youre not making money youre not going to be around for long. What CCC has done is alienate its consumers to receive a small market share of “similar” consumers.

      I always felt that they had gave me/us edgy music and broke bands, new to me, like 5FDP, Dead Sara, and Volbeat. Id classify college rock as Indie as it is far from mainstream unlike the “edgy” bands said above.

      Theyve taken a tried and true niche of consumers (hard rock/metal) and completely ostracized them all together. Sure maybe they will get some crossover from 99.1, 104.1 and 102.1 but all theyve done is grabbed a very small portion of that market because there’s at least 3 other stations that share the same listeners.

      They threw the baby out with the bath water.

  8. Brian Sims

    About freaking time.

    But- it’s too little too late!

    WCCC is gone and not coming back. John “i do every job at the station” Fuller will buy them and I’m sure make them continute to fail just like Radio 104.

  9. Tammy

    Ummmm- Hey JVal “keep the station relevant..?” are you kidding??

    Nothing relevant about WCCC since Howard Stern.

    Wake up people.

  10. Album Rock

    I fondly remember the 70′s, when FM rock was “Album Rock”. Long playing songs and jams, as well as deeper cuts were mixed in the programming. Radio play-lists today have little to offer in terms of depth and subastance. FM Rock, please, Get Back to Where you once belonged! I so agree with Brad Davis here. Hartford once had WCCC competing with WHCN, a healthy competition.
    Beginning in the 80′s, I programmed my own cassette tapes for the car, as I was tired of turning the radio dial seeking better music, or consistancy. Today, I program CD’s for similar reasons. I am much more likely to listen to the Shuffle oh my MP3 Player, or computer, rather than radio. I listen to what today’s radio calls “classic rock”, but have actual substance and depth to my play-lists.
    Hartford radio today is a great place for rap, hip-hop, and basic drug thug music. If I listen to radio, I do listen to Springfieeld or New Haven too!
    I see now a chance to restore GOOD Classic Rock to Hartford. The other bases are covered (genres).
    In representing many thousands of potential listeners, I ask WCCC, Please Restore Classic Rock to Hartford.

    1. Neal Fisher

      For some great rock n’ roll, deep cuts both old and new, and intelligent music with similar commentary, listen to Steve Rafolovsky on WRTC, 89.3, Wednesday mornings at 9:00. I can’t take commercial rock radio in Hartford, New Haven, or Springfield for more than 5 minutes.

    2. BobW

      A.R. You pretty much nailed what I was thinking. Rather than restore classic rock, try something a tiny bit retro and go to album oriented rock.

    3. Rock & Roll Will Never Die

      Amen, brother. I’ve resorted to Sirius XM. Radio these days is all about the playlists and focus groups, and the same 300 songs on a continuous rotation. HCN back in the 80′s was where it was at. PLR and Rock 102 are decent stations, as is I-95 in Danbury, but the playlists are stale. Would love to hear some deep tracks and basement tapes that get passed over.

  11. Jeremy

    I kinda doubt Picozzi was the soft rock problem, but if the higher ups are smart, they’ll go back to hard rock and just blame it on him anyway, then they’re heroes, they got rid of the person that changed our beloved stations genre.

  12. K-ROCK

    Rock 102.1 in Springfield is WAY better. Bax and O’brien are actually funny sometimes. The CCC crew are never funny and they are WT like half their audience.

  13. Liz

    LOL @ Picozzi and “hard work”. No one loved him, not even the listeners. He was a back stabber, a gossiper, a misogynist, and over the last few months a pariah at the office. No one talked to him because they couldn’t stand him.

    But I understand that Tanger can’t really bad mouth Picozzi in an article to the Hartford Courant. If you want to talk about hard work, look at Karolyi. He was doing Picozzi’s job already.

    1. Queen B

      Right?!?! Is Woody high?!?! I can not think of one person who respects Picozzi. Of course no one is going to bad mouth him because, No one at that station has any balls.

  14. T-Dog

    WCCC has been going downhill for quite a while. Local radio ain’t what it used to be.

  15. ron

    Now you know why I listen to satalite radio…WCCC was the last of good stations in CT…..Now even more reason for me to listen to Sirus or the two knuckleheads from Springfield.

  16. jose

    Let’s face it. Terrestrial radio is DEAD! Most people listen to downloadable music, online radio or satelite radio. Some people listen to AM talk stations or sports talk but thats about it. I used to like WCCC back in the day when it was edgy, but haven’t checked it out in so long I couldn’t even tell you whos on there or what kind of music they play. RIP radio.

  17. Capitalism

    Time to give Sebastian another chance or Jerry Krisopher – maybe even Jeremy Savage!

  18. Sebastian

    Like I have always said what CCC stood for when I wasn’t working there, Copy Copy Copy

  19. ed dudko

    I’ve worked with and know Mike Karoyli. He’s one hard worker dedicated to Hartford radio. The station will survive and probably for the better. Simply put, it’s a numbers business and besides listeners, it more importantly means advertiser revenue.

  20. Tom

    Koplik?!

    Are you kidding?!

    This guy has made enormous millions off the people of Connecticut for decades, courting stations who played artists whose performances he was promoting in a timely fashion by doing weekly call in shows. He milked that cow dead, now works to keep any old style (terrestial) radio playing artists he’s STILL promoting in concerts.

    He ain’t in it for the goodness of keeping rock and roll on the airwaves folks, he’s doing it so he can have more houses on the rivera (or wherever)…

    If you ever had the chance to interact with him on a one on one basis in raising a concern, you’d find a VERY different guy than that nice, mellow persona heard on the radio.

    He’s in it for Jimmy, not for listeners of CCC or any station!

  21. DG

    WCCC filled a need in the Greater Hartford area for HARD ROCK….we already have soft rock, classic rock, pop etc on more than one station. I am a 44 year old FEMALE — well over the age of 35 and I WANT MY HARD FREAKIN’ ROCK!!! I want Sevendust,FFDP,Bullet for My Valentine, Breaking Benjamin, Godsmack, Black Stone Cherry, Aranda, Hinder, Three Days Grace, Otherwise, on and on and on and all the NEW hard rock…. all the bands that made The Rock GREAT ! ALL THE GREAT CONCERTS!!!! Come on guys….

  22. Nicole

    I am 56 and I can honestly tell you, the music they play is terrible now. I loved the new hard rock heavy metal format with the occasional crap song thrown in. I not believe for a minute we needed another soft rock station when therebarevso many to choose from. Big mistake from management to alienate all of us metal music fans.

    1. Shep

      I agree Nicole, I’m 57 and now the music format reminds me of that. Although I still like music from the 60′s, 70′s, 80′s it seems like the same songs are played everyday w/very few of the newer stuff. If I want to listen to the old stuff I can do that at home. I want new updated edgy rock/metal to come back.

  23. ed

    years ago i switched to XM and havent looked back. You dont have to worry about anyone changing format, because whatever kind of music you like they have a channel for it. The sound quality is much better, no corny dj’s or commercials. They also play the real versions the artist made, not edited ones free radio plays

  24. DG

    Ed – I agree and listen to Octane all day long after Howard… but I really did enjoy getting into my car and putting on my local station…. going to all the concerts that CCC promoted… and I absolutely utilized the half-off store ALL the time… ALL THE TIME… can’t tell you how many things I have gotten from there over the years and then continued to patronize those businesses because of it. I can’t be the only one who stopped doing that. I just got my NRA certification thru Delta Aresenal because they advertised it in the half-off store… bought one as a Christmas gift too. Not anymore.

  25. This girl is Metal

    Maybe a actual HOT GIRL who loves real Rock music of all kinds should do it!! Sick of the boys and their fat bellies. Hit me up.

    1. ratbuddy

      Yeah, screw being qualified for the job, because being hot is all that matters, right?

  26. Just me liking Rock

    Im glad they are “reaching” to an over 35 female.. maybe if they asked more of us they would have kept the “old” format! I agree with DG… bring back the good bands!! Im over 40 and female- I like the old way!!!!!!!

  27. Max Power

    Facebook.com/Savetherock will be having more events.. Tanger is so out of touch and broken with listeners. Karolyi is a step in the right direction though…

  28. CP

    There is definitely a place for good local terrestrial radio that relates to its market and can deliver its audience to a venue or commercial enterprise, especially with ‘CCC’s huge signal. A too-limited or watered-down playlist in a wide-based format is a waste of electricity; most listeners can create a better playlist on their own computers or by playing a jukebox. Woody Tanger’s comment – “We have eliminated the music that was most offensive to the most people” – sounds like a recipe for also-ran-ness and derivative garbage. I wish Mike Karolyi success at finding the local magic that distinguishes the best stations in a market. My suggestion: have fun and don’t be too safe. “Boring” is not the answer. Neither is “same as everyone else.”

    As many have noted, Picozzi is not a nice person and in my experience never was. He also never impressed me on the air except negatively. That said, let’s not come down too hard on Jimmy Koplick, who has produced many of the best concerts in the area for four decades. Frankly, without him, a lot of bands and musicians, both national and regional, that played in central Connecticut would not have played here. Sure, he’s a capitalist; aren’t most of us? How else could he pay the musicians (and how else would we make the money to buy the tickets to see them)?

    Good luck to ‘CCC; they’ll need it – but it can be done.

    1. Tom

      So, it’s okay to slam Picozzi but not Koplik?

      How long have you worked for him?

      But funnniest joke is : “without him, a lot of bands and musicians, both national and regional, that played in central Connecticut would not have played here.”

      I could make a list of dozens of acts I’ve had to go out of state to see because no promoter brought them to our little state.

      You say you don’t like Picozzi, that he’s not a nice guy. Don’t know myself but I do know that about Koplik. If you ever complained to him about anything, he was anything but a nice guy.

  29. CP

    Tom, thanks for replying. I don’t think I’m “slamming” myself or giving (or denying) others the right to do so. That said, based on my own experience, I stand by my comments. Picozzi never hired me, but I wouldn’t have hired him either, based both on my estimate of his talent and his taking an unnecessary swipe at me in the press, a real “schoolyard bully” moment. I don’t wish him harm; he has made his own road in life. Take that for whatever it’s worth.

    Re: Jim Koplick, again, in my experience I rarely had any issues with him, and when I did most were easily resolved, especially in the light of business realities. It’s hard to find a successful promotor who is universally loved, but I think Jim is a right guy overall. You could do a lot worse, believe me. I’ve dealt with some of those.

  30. Stiffo

    I’ve listened to Hartford radio since the ’50′s. IMHO, best rock there ever: @late 60′s & 70′s: WWUH & WHCN; best jazz @80′s til now: WWUH & WYBC; best classical & opera: pre-May77: WTIC; post-July77: WWUH; best rock now: WAQY; upshot: never listened regularly to CCC. Even tho several friends worked there over the years.

  31. Rocker Bee Yatch

    I think at this point protesting WCCC, posting on their FB wall, and complaining about the playlist is beating a dead horse.
    I’m glad Picozzi got fired. He was a miserable prick and difficult to work with. Karolyi deserved to be program director years ago. I just hope the stress of trying to save the station doesn’t take a toll on Karolyi.

    True story: I worked at a station with Picozzi (this was before he was program director, even back then he was a jerk). It was my first day and I was being trained how to use the phone system. Picozzi was calling in and when I tried to transfer his call to the studio it didn’t connect properly. (it was my first day, I had been on the job only a few hours). He calls back completely irrate, yelling in my ear, “My call didn’t go through. What are you stupid or something?”

    And that’s Michael Picozzi in a nutshell.

  32. The plain truth

    All you people whinning over a station that had gone dwn the tube back in the 90s started after the hiring of Howard Stern witch for a non coprate station smacks of idk smelled funny to me . Sure he got his start their but that was before he was a brand name . As far as the new music they played or heavy as many call it . That garbage was not heavy and rather contrived couldnt ot tell one lame band from the nxt fake angst fake aggression coprate rock bascially of a more aggressive strain . There was and still is so much great music that they or anybody else would never think to play . So i was not upset the fact is i gave up o commerical radio back i the 90s now matter what the format . Its all the same bland cookie cutter rock/rap/pop/country . And for the record new metal sucks major ass . Having said this you have to realize at the end of the day it is a buisness and their ratings have sucked for yrs partly i think do to all the shitty come and go every other week dissposable bands they played . Come on how many of those bands were all that orgial or had any staying power . So it should be no surprise they did what they did . Rock music as a art form as sad as it is to say is dead . This coming from a music obssesed geek with a huge music library and very eclectic taste .

  33. Walter

    I understand how the people who were huge fans of WCCC in the past are upset over the changes, but it’s not like you don’t have plenty of choices. There’s Pandora (ONE 15 second commercial every three songs), satellite radio (I know SiriusXM has a TON of rock stations that play a lot of stuff no one’s ever heard of, unedited in some cases and commercial free) and other radio stations streaming through Iheartradio and radio.com among others. Let’s look at it from their point of view, the Hartford market and pretty much the Northeast in general is getting older, not younger. No one is staying here, and people are fleeing this state. Our population is decreasing, and out of the population that’s listening to the radio, the older audience is the only portion left listening to the radio. Everyone else has found the “competition”, and thus you have WCCC’s issue. Right or wrong, WCCC needs to make money to stay in business, and it IS a business at the end of the day. Sometimes, you have to see the writing on the wall to realize that things have to change, and WCCC like a lot of the other radio stations in the market are discovering that the older audience is what is left listening to the radio.

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